Though they’ve been around for a few years in Holland, this is the first Vredo self-propelled muckspreader to come to the UK. It’s been brought in by Bert Essink at FGSagri contractors at Ashford, Kent, who mostly deals with spreading sewage cake for Thames Water.
The £300,000 Vredo joins an existing fleet of six Terragators, which between them spread some 350,000t of sewage cake each year, plus compost, paper waste and farmyard muck. Most of the work is done between July and the end of November.
The Vredo is something of a mechanical tour de force. It carries 20t of sewage cake at a time, with huge 105-50/R32 flotation tyres allowing it to travel at up to 45kph (though 8-11kph is more usual) on the field without worrying too much about ruts. In a good day, it can dispense 1,000-1,200t of sewage cake.
A central tyre inflation system allows the driver to run the tyres at 3 bar on the road and 1 bar on the field, with an on-board 4,000 litres/min compressor providing enough air to take all four tyres from 1 bar to 3 bar in just three minutes.
The driver can switch from normal steer to crab steer at the push of a button. While gateways and roadwork require normal steer, most field work is done in crab steer. That way, the rear tyres run in completely different tracks from the fronts, so the weight of the machine is spread completely across its width.
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